The JTS Band (aka The J.T.S. Band)

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1976-77)

- Fred Blackburn -- bass, vocals

- Frank Heath -- drums, percussion, vocals

- Jon WIld -- guitar, vocals

- Jim Young -- lead guitar, keyboards, flute, vocals




- none known





Genre: rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Flyin'

Company: Spoonfed

Catalog: SP 3002

Country/State: Boston, Massachusetts

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap (opened); includes insert

Available: 1431

Catalog ID: 1

Price: $15.00


They were apparently from Boston with a line up that featured bassist Fred Blackburn , drummer Frank Heath, guitarist Jon Wild, and multi-instrumentalist Jim Young.


Produced by Bruce Patch, their 1976 debut "Flyin'" was released on the small Boston-based Spoonfed label.  Featuring a collection of ten band originals, material like 'Golden Highway', 'Time To Be Flyin''', and 'Faceless Pretender' found the band working in a bland, largely anonymous country-rock genre, with occasional subtle nods to religious themes ('Stay with Me').  Lyrically there seemed to be lots of nods to how tough life on the road was, which many folks were likely to find cloying.  Still, all four members were clearly accomplished players, with Young showing some real talent as lead guitarist.  As a result, on a technical level it was hard to criticize the album, but there was just something stiff and calculated about these grooves.  I've probably heard the set a dozen times over the years and it's one of those collections that played quickly, but didn't seem to reflect a single original move.  Perhaps they were better in a live setting?


"Flyin'" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Complications   (Jon WIld - Billy Coldiron - Jim Young) - 3:06

On any other album this country-rocker would have been a throwaway tune, but on this collection it was actually one of the better tunes.   Nice example of the band's twin lead guitar sound, though it was ultimately pretty anonymous.   rating: *** stars

2.) Golden Highway   Jim Young) - 3:11

A keyboard-propelled power ballad, I think this was actually intended to be an inspiration tune ...   Well, it inspired me to quickly move on to the next tune.  This tune may have included some of the worst la-la-la-ing I've ever heard.     rating: ** stars

3,) Stay with Me   (Jim Young) - 4:24

Painfully overwrought ballad with some lyrics that will make you run for the exit.  If you'd turned this in as a high school English paper ...  well you would have been in trouble.   The only nice thing I can say about this one was the fact there was a nice guitar solo.  rating: ** stars

4.) Time To Be Flyin'  (Jon WIld - Jim Young) - 3:01

I guess this would be called the title track - bouncy, but ultimately faceless country-rock tune.  Would have been a lot better without the pedal string solo.   rating: ** stars

5.) Off the Fence   (Jim WIld - Jim Young - Frank Heath - Billy Coldiron) - 2:22

Mindless stab at Southern rock.  What's with the do-do-dos?   Guess they ran out insightful comments to make on their Southern brethren.   rating: ** stars


(side 2)
1.) Troubles
   (Jim WIld - Billy Coldiron) - 2:33

An upbeat rocker, 'Troubles' might have been the album's most conventional and commercial track. That certainly didn't make it particularly original, or enjoyable.  rating: *** stars

2.) Gotta Get Home   (Jim Young) - 3:32

Well, I liked Young's guitar on this one and the band showcased some nice backing vocals.  Other than that, this was anonymous and forgettable pop.  rating: ** stars

3.) Nameless Pretenders   (Jim Young) - 3:56

Pretty, but forgettable ballad with kind of a waltzy melody.  rating: ** stars

4.) What You Want Me To Be   (Jim Young) - 2:56

One of the album's better tunes, 'What You Want Me To Be' at least had an interesting melody and shows shadows of originality, though Young's squealing lead guitar was the true standout.   rating: *** stars

5.) This Heart of Mine   (Jim WIld - Jim Young - Billy Coldiron) - 4:17

So why not end the album with another life's-tough-on-the-road tune?   An acoustic ballad plagued by another bout of do-do-do-itis, though I'll admit these guys could sing some pretty harmonies.  rating: *** stars


I'm not sure why the company bothered, but Mercury subsequently signed the band to a contract, reissuing their album in the States and Japan.  The reissued collection featured the same track listing, but different artwork.


                         Mercury catalog number SRM-1-1152


Mercury floated an instantly obscure single in the States.   Even stranger, the singles was also released in Holland:




- 1977's 'Stay with Me' b/w 'Time To Be Flyin'' (Mercury catalog number 73896)

- 1977's 'Stay with Me' b/w 'Time To Be Flyin'' (Mercury catalog number 6167 505)